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TYPES OF HEARING AIDS

What are the best hearing aids for you?

As a hearing aid specialist AccuQuest is proud to sell, fit, and service some of the most advanced and best hearing aids ever. Hearing aids come in many different sizes and styles. Some styles are designed to fit in virtually any ear, and others require custom ear-molds to personalize the fit.The question of what the best hearing aids and most appropriate for you will be answered by a combination of factors including: lifestyle, hearing loss severity, cosmetic preferences, and budget. Your audiologist* or hearing aid specialist will provide you with a thorough evaluation and consultation to help you determine the best solution for getting you back to better hearing. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have an idea of what your options are and what the best hearing aids are before you go in for your appointment with one of these friendly professionals. Here is a quick run down of the different types and styles of hearing aids.

Custom Shells

The best hearing aids on the market should be very easy to operate even if the user has poor dexterity, the following devices fall into that category. The hearing device is housed within a custom-made shell that fits comfortably inside each ear and delivers sound directly to the ear. This type of hearing aid typically uses size 13 batteries.

IIC - Invisible in canal hearing aidIIC (Invisible-In-Canal)

These hearing aids are called “invisible” for a reason. They rest comfortably in the second bend of your ear canal, where most other hearing aids end. This allows it to use the ear’s natural acoustics and anatomy to deliver more precise, natural sound—AND it is completely undetectable to the outside world. Unlike extended wear deep insertion aids like LyricTM or WowTM, the IIC can be removed and reinserted daily to promote better hearing health. These are some of the most popular and best hearing aids on the market today. This type of hearing aid typically uses size 10 batteries.

 

CIC - completely in the canal hearing aidCIC (Completely-In-The-Canal)

These hearing aids can barely be seen by others. The hearing device is housed in a tiny shell that fits comfortably and completely into each ear canal. The device is removed from the ear canal by pulling a tiny cord. Where these miniature aids are both powerful and cosmetically appealing, some features, such as manual volume control, are not available because the devices are so small. These hearing aids may be a little difficult to operate especially if the user has poor dexterity. This type of hearing aid typically uses size 10 batteries.

 

ITC - in the canal hearing aidITC (In-The-Canal)

These hearing aids are less noticeable and are very easy to operate, even if the user has poor dexterity. The hearing device is housed within a custom-made shell that fits comfortably inside the canal of each ear and delivers sound directly to the inner ear. This type of hearing aid typically uses size 312 batteries.

 

ITE - In-The-Ear hearing aidITE (In-The-Ear)
These hearing aids are very easy to operate even if the user has poor dexterity. The hearing device is housed within a custom-made shell that fits comfortably inside each ear and delivers sound directly to the ear. This type of hearing aid typically uses size 13 batteries.

 

Open Fit

Open Fit hearing aids have a flexible tip that fits deep within the ear canal and does not require a custom molding process. The tip is usually vented to allow natural sound to enter the ear canal and prevent the “head in the barrel” sensation that can occur when the canal is plugged with a custom shell.

RIC - receiver in canal hearing aid RIC (Receiver-In-Canal) or Nano

These discreet hearing aids are large enough for patients with dexterity issues to handle with ease, and powerful enough to compensate for even severe hearing. The hearing device is housed in a curved shell that sits behind the ear while the clear tube hooks over the ear and the small receiver on the end will sit all the way inside the ear canal making it nearly undetectable. This type of hearing aid typically uses size 312 batteries.

 

mini-RIC or Nano RiteMini-RIC (Receiver-In-Canal) or NR (Nano RITE)

These hearing aids provide the power of a traditional NR, but are housed in smaller curved shell. With the clear tube that hooks over the ear and the diminished size of the shell, these hearing aids are virtually invisible. Patients with dexterity issues may have difficulty operating this smaller size.  This type of hearing aid typically uses size 312 batteries.

 

Behind-the-Ear

These are the most powerful hearing aids available and are used to treat loss from mild to profound. Traditionally these hearing aids required custom molds that fill the opening of the ear canal and conform to its unique shape. But the most recent advances, like Starkey’s new S Series BTE with SWEEPtechnology, are making BTE both cosmetically appealing and available in open fit (no custom mold in the canal).

BTE - behind the ear hearing aidBTE (Behind-The-Ear)

These hearing aids are extremely flexible for all types of hearing loss. The hearing device is housed within a curved shell that sits behind each ear and delivers sound through a clear tube. The clear tube typically fits into a mold that has been customized to comfortably fit inside each ear—although open fit BTEs are now available as well.  This type of hearing aid typically uses size 675 or 13 batteries.

You now know a little more about your hearing aid options and the best hearing aids on the market. Selecting the hearing aid that is right for you is a critical step on the path to better hearing, but it is just one step. We invite you to see What to Expect at your appointment to see more. If you don’t have an appointment yet, schedule your complimentary hearing evaluation with a friendly and highly trained hearing aid specialist near you by calling toll-free at 1-888-264-2882.

 

*In the state of Ohio, we employ Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialists, Hearing Instrument Specialists, and Hearing Aid Dealers. For the purposes of fitting a hearing aid, these specialists perform the following procedures : tests of threshold, Puretone air and Bone-conduction; Tests of tolerance, most comfortable listening level (MCL) and uncomfortable listening level (UCL); Test of speech awareness and reception (SRT) and speech understanding or discrimination (WDS); Video Otoscopy is used for the purpose of inspecting the ear canal.